Than Hussein Clark at Damien & The Love Guru

Artist: Than Hussein Clark

Exhibition title: The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias

Venue: Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels, Belgium

Date: September 6 – October 24, 2019

Photography: all images courtesy of the artist and Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels, Crèvecoeur, Paris, courtesy of the estate of Selma Vaz Dias, photo: Mark Blower

If exhibitions are an attempt to translate and stage an idea in space, this exhibition might be said to be an an attempt at translating the name of an actress – Selma Vaz Dias – into a kind of portrait within the stage of the gallery. Such a portrait is difficult task -in the words of WH Auden, “Proper Names are Poetry in the raw. Like all poetry, they are untranslatable.” My admiration for actresses I would hope at this point is well known, my affection for this particular actress is perhaps not.

Selma Vaz Dias, born in 1911 in Amsterdam, she came to England aged eleven and was schooled in this country and then: ‘ trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (R.A.D.A.) where she was discovered at the age of sixteen for her first West-end part – the lead in “Red Rust” opposite John Gielgud and Ion Swinley. These were followed by: “The Matriarch”, with Mrs Patrick Campbell, and a season at the then new Westminster Theatre under Tyrone Guthrie. Notable among the many and various parts she played are: Sara Disraeli in “Young Mr Disraeli”, the mother in “Golden Door” on television, Anne Marie in the original production of “Thunder Rock” and Gisela in “Dark Summer”. She was the first Solange in Jean Genet’s “The Maids”, played in the original French at the Royal Court Theatre and later in an English version. Subsequently she played the leading part of Irma in Genet’s world premiere of “The Balcony” at the Arts Theatre.She also appeared on stage as the Ratwife in “Little Eyolf” at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and The Mother in “Jaques” at The Royal Court Theatre.

Well known on films, television and radio, she was the first actress to do an hour’s monologue on the Third Programme – her own adaptation of “Good Morning Midnight” by Jean Rhys. Selma translated several plays for television, the Third Programme and the stage. Although of Dutch origin, she had the honour of playing Queen Elizabeth I of England in the first performance in this country of ‘Son et Lumiere’ at Greenwich Palace with Sir Laurence Olivier. This was her second appearance at The Theatre Royal, the first being in “Don Juan or The Love of Geometry” with Eric Porter and Moira Shearer.’

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, Fractured Rothschild Curtain in the Manner of Edouardo Paolozzi, 2019, Organza, faux leather, 200 x 262 x 3 cm

Than Hussein Clark, Easel for ‘Old Clown’ by Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Steel, enamel, 20 x 35 x 200 cm

Than Hussein Clark, Easel for ‘Old Clown’ by Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Steel, enamel, 20 x 35 x 200 cm

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, Dressing Room Door for Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Resin, brass, steel, enamel, door viewers, theatrical staging, 2440 x 1220 x 2065 cm

Than Hussein Clark, Dressing Room Door for Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Resin, brass, steel, enamel, door viewers, theatrical staging, 2440 x 1220 x 2065 cm

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, Guerlain Vitrine B for ‘Hitler’ and ‘Smug’ by Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Steel, enamel, acrylic, frame, 61 x 86 x 120 cm

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, Dressing Room Door for Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Resin, brass, steel, enamel, door viewers, theatrical staging, 2440 x 1220 x 2065 cm

Than Hussein Clark, Cancellation Telephone Table, 2019, Yellow Crowned Amazon parrot, resin, Bauhaus chair, 85 x 125 x 95 cm

Than Hussein Clark, Cancellation Telephone Table, 2019, Yellow Crowned Amazon parrot, resin, Bauhaus chair, 85 x 125 x 95 cm

Than Hussein Clark, The Paintings of Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, exhibition view, Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels

Than Hussein Clark, Lobby Bench for Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Brass, steel, acrylic, cold patina, enamel, 305 x 50 x 65 cm

Than Hussein Clark, Guerlain Vitrine A for ‘Jewish Buereacrat’ and ‘The Unknown Telephone Intruder!’ by Selma Vaz Dias, 2019, Steel, enamel, acrylic, frame, 55 x 63 x 120 cm

Selma Vaz Dias, Parrot, 1969, Gouache, charcoal and ink on paper, 72,5 x 56 cm (framed)

Selma Vaz Dias, Les Bonnes, 1965, Oil on board, 87,5 x 65 cm (framed)

Selma Vaz Dias, Fallada, 1963, Oil on paper, 72,5 x 56 cm (framed)

Selma Vaz Dias, The Absinthe Drinkers, 1965, Oil on polystyrene, 87,5 x 65 cm

Selma Vaz Dias, The Devil And The Woman, 1964, Oil on paper, 107,5 x 72 cm (framed)

Selma Vaz Dias, Self After Deep Ray Treatment – Tenerife, 1976, Graphite on paper, 107,5 x 72 cm (framed)

Selma Vaz Dias, Woman Suspended, 1963, Oil and oil pastel on paper, 107,5 x 77 cm (framed)

Selma Vaz Dias, The New Circus Recruit, 1965, Oil on paper, 132 x 87 cm (framed)

Selma Vaz Dias, What Have I Done?, 1964, Oil and pastel on paper, 132,5 x 94,5 cm (framed)

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Ensemble of The Director’s Theatre Writer’s Theatre, Video trailer by Thomas Depas

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto

Than Hussein Clark, Chamber Music for Europe (Nonent for Selma Vaz Dias) by The Directors, Theatre Writers Theatre, photo: Cristian Manzutto